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Do you know the latest car seat laws?

Section: Car Seats
Do you know the latest car seat laws?

How well do you know the latest government changes to car seat regulations in the UK? 

Car seat regulations state: 

Children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first.

Only EU-approved child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle.

You can choose a child car seat based on your child’s height or weight.

Height-based car seats

Height-based car seats are known as ‘i-Size’ seats. They must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old. Your child can use a forward-facing car seat when they’re over 15 months old.

You must check the seat to make sure it’s suitable for the height of your child.

Weight-based car seats

Weight-based car seats must be rear-facing until your child weighs more than 9kg.

Confusion amongst parents

In March 2015, the UK government amended the existing child car seat law to allow the use of i-Size approved car seats, which are designed to keep children rearward facing for up to 15 months old. It is based upon a European Union safety regulation that dictates that the suitability of children’s car seats is based upon a child’s height, rather than weight.

The i-Size regulations run parallel to existing R44 legislation, which is based on a child’s weight and allows children to sit forward-facing from around 12 months old (depending on their individual weight).

The dual use of two pieces of legislation, along with a lack of clear guidelines, has caused confusion amongst parents. 

Research conducted by AXA shows that whilst 86 per cent of parents thought they understood the current law, only one in ten could actually identify the correct legislative changes to child car seat regulations made earlier this year. 

Head of Road Safety at RoSPA, Kevin Clinton, comments: “We are very concerned about the results of AXA’s research which show there is a lack of understanding about child car seats.

“There is such a wide range of types of seat to choose from, and several factors to consider when choosing; it’s no wonder that parents are confused.

“We actively encourage British parents to check what the law says, take their time to choose the best seat for their child and car, and buy from retailers who can show you how to fit it in your car to ensure you keep your little ones as safe as possible.”

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